Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Where I am

I took this picture while I was walking on campus yesterday:

I think I need to place myself more firmly in my surrounds so that I can be more aware of where I am and what I am doing. For example, last week I was in a bookstore and read the first page of Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because Tweak, with passion in her eyes, said it's amazing. And, she's right. I started laughing loudly in the bookstore. But I can't do that right now. I have to work. So, at that moment, I decided that when I move back to Olympia this summer I will start a book club and that will be the first book we read. The thought made me happy, but now the idea keeps coming to me while I am supposed to be writing my dissertation proposal. I need to get THAT done here, now, before...

I am here, now, to prepare for my QE. I need to focus on that.

As far as my productivity is concerned, I have been making a valiant effort to stick by my resolution, despite a rather tenacious cold. My dear readers, your advice was fabulous. I think I should ask you smart people for input more often, and anybody who didn't read the comments on my last post should do it immediately, particularly if you are a graduate student with a wandering eye.

Do your dreams for the future distract you from your purpose for the day?

Oh, since this is a knitting blog, I should also note that I went to Stitches West last Saturday with some very good company. There were knitters and yarn as far as my sickly eyes could see. I made a very exciting purchase, which I will have to discuss with you another time, and forgot to take pictures. Ops! Back to that paying attention to where I am thing...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rainbows and resolutions

Dan and I are both sick--sore throats, stuffy sinuses, pressure in our ears, and postnasal drip. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I stayed home from class this morning, and later we followed the rainbow to Longs Drugs to stock up on throat lozenges and tissues with lotion.

Can you see the rainbow?

We also had a long discussion about productivity, procrastination, and focus (or lack there of). So, in the spirit of my newer, better, more productive mentality, I might not be blogging much for a while. Or, when I do blog, I might just include a picture with a few words, like this entry.

Do you have any advice on effective time use? I think I need it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A day for pinks

What should be in a post-Valentines edition of a knitting blog? Songs of love? Yarn to make one swoon? A discussion of romance? A critique of the commercialization of love? Chocolate? (I really do recommend reading Yarn Harlot's entry from yesterday.)

I'm afraid my level of sophistication is not quite that high right now. Instead, I will simply share some observations about color that this knotty historian made during yesterday's day of love. I'm not a big pink fan. I don't think I own a single pink item of clothing. Yet, as I was contemplating the Valentines Day color scheme I realized that the yarn I obtained for my niece's hat and my grandma's scarf is all pink. So, fate demands a little photo with both pink yarns and some other pink and red things that I bought yesterday to celebrate yummy colors.

How else did I celebrate? Dan and I ate some very sexy fruit salad for diner. That was the follow up to the very romantic midterm review session that I led in the morning. I know, I know--the extravagance of it all is quite overwhelming.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A little of this, a little of that

My knit-blogging of late has been a bit lax: an entire week has sped past since my last post, and that entry didn't feature any knitting. Tut, tut. I hope to redeem myself by presenting a brief overview of my recent projects.

Project 1: Square-Along

This is an older picture. (You can tell it's old because it includes two of the scarves, all bundled up with postcards, that I mailed to Eastern Europe. They've been gone a while, and I am giddy with anticipation that I might soon hear from my far away friends.)

Here you can see my first square for Larissa's "Square-Along." Although I initially hesitated, I'm really glad that I participated in this knit-along. It's another project, like my Socks 101, for Larissa's upcoming book (written with her husband) featuring knit-alongs. The "Square-Along" gimmick was that all the participants knit 7 X 7 in. squares following Larissa's recipe and using sock-weight yarn. Then the squares were all sent to Portland so that Larissa can sew together the sample for her book. Any extra squares will be included in a blanket/blankets for charity. I sent two squares (the second is pictured below). I was simply thrilled when I saw Larissa's picture on Flickr where I can identify my squares amidst a bunch of other people's. Yay!

Project 2: Sock it to me!

I am making another sock.

This has been a nice portable project, and, hopefully, the resulting sock will fit and I will be happy enough to finish a mate for it. The pattern is kind of out of my head and based on Yarn Harlot's sock recipe in Knitting Rules! (which was a rollicking good read). You can see that I've made a decent amount of progress since the picture revealing my sock's humble beginnings. I am currently only a couple of inches away from the toe decreases. Can you stand the excitement?

I am beginning to understand why some people collect gratuitous amounts of sock yarn. This is fun, and look at all the purdy colors...

Other Projects: Hopes and dreams for my knitting future

Knitting and fanaticizing about future knitting go together. The next two projects on the docket are both for sweetie pies in my family: a scarf for my Grandma Tennie and a cat hat for my little niece. I now have yarn for both and have started devising patterns based on altering other people's patterns. I don't yet have pictures because I don't like the results of my experimentation thus far. But knitting group is this afternoon, and I may take another run at my grandma's scarf (in my fantasy it's covered with lovely rambling reversible cables). We will see.

Oh, and please don't ask about the fishes. They are in timeout.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Thoughts on my most significant WIP

On Thursday Dan and I visited the Carmel Mission. We spent about two hours wandering the grounds, taking pictures, examining displays, and contemplating paintings, statues, and the basilica. The trip made me think about history, aesthetics, and the renovation and commemoration of historical objects. I became preoccupied with thoughts about those who recreated the mission, who rebuilt the structures and setup the little museum displays. What is the social significance of their act of commemoration?

My dissertation topic came more into focus this week, and I made contact with the organization I will, most likely, be researching. Will my work also be an act of renovation and reconstruction?

I suppose, inevitably, it must be.